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Monday, July 1, 2013


Among the best parts of working in the medical profession is teamwork.  I was reminded of this again yesterday as my coworker and I were called upon to a rapid response call.

1.  I was the first out the door, so I headed straight to the room.  My coworker went to get the EKG machine.  Teamwork. 

2.  By the the milieu of panic in he hallway prior to entering the room, I sensed something horrible was occurring in he patient's room, so I asked an aide to get the crash cart, and she said, "It's already in the room."  Teamwork. 

3.  I rushed into the room and RN Reva was standing by the patient.  I approached the bed, placing my hand on the patient's chest to feel her respirations.  As I went for the pulse, Reva said, "There is no pulse, let's start CPR!"  Teamwork.  

4.  I open the airway box and fumble to open it.  As I go to place the mask on the patient, I notice she is vomiting.  The nurse says, "Just bag through it."  It was a subtle reminder that airway comes before making sure the patient doesn't get aspiration pneumonia.  Teamwork.  

5.  Noting now that Reva and  put the patient first and did not have gloves on (Gross!) Dr. Gary tosses each of us a pair, and I quickly slide them over my hands.  As I'm doing so, the head nurse smoothly takes over and provides a few quick breaths.  Teamwork.  

6.  A critical care nurse is now in the room, and observes the AMBU bag is not plugged in.  She quickly makes the switch (thus saving me from future agony) to benefit the patient.  Yes, even the best of us make such oversights in emergent situations.  Teamwork.  

7.  Three doctors are now in the room, three quality nurses, two respiratory therapists, and an aide, so we are well represented, each of us tending to our area of expertise.  My coworker sets up suction and gets an ETT ready without even being asked.  When the doctor says calmly, "Can someone get me a size 8 ETT," it's already being handed to him by my fellow RT.  Teamwork.  

8.  The supervisor taps a young aide on the shoulder and says, "You can take over for CPR now."  The aide confidently jumps on the chest, and thumps like a pro."  I wonder if this was really his first time.  Teamwork. 

I could go on.  I simply cannot imply enough here how much training goes into each person in the room in such situations, and this includes the nurses aides.  As the patient is wheeled to critical care, she is not just placing orders, but rushing to get blankets and other items the nurse needs, and it's just a great feeling.  

Whether we save the life or not in the end, just the feeling of so many people coming together to give the fallen a chance to get back up is simply amazing.  

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